Downturn Continues to Lower Union Membership
by Ben Zipperer
The labor market recession continued to exact a toll on union membership, which fell sharply in 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unionized share of the U.S. workforce dropped to 11.9 percent last year from 12.3 percent in 2009. The private sector unionization rate fell to 6.9 percent in 2010, from 7.2 percent in 2009.
While union membership and overall employment decreased in 2009 at about the same rate, unions continued to lose members in 2010 even as employment losses slowed. Union rolls shrank by about 600,000 members. Most major industry groups saw falling employment and union membership. [Thanks, DW].